The registration schedule for presidential candidate pairs in the 2024 Election has already passed and discussions about the 2024 Election and the strongest candidates are becoming more intense, even verging on becoming heated. Where do private companies and government institutions stand amidst the hustle and bustle leading up to the Election? What needs to be done by communication practitioners within and outside the organisation?
The political year indeed has the potential to pose additional challenges for private companies and government institutions. We discussed this in the PR INDONESIA magazine in the February 2023 edition. One of the reasons is that the election provides certainty about upcoming changes.
For companies, especially those whose businesses are closely tied to the government or government projects, the election’s outcome will directly impact their businesses. This is because there is the potential for significant changes under new leadership that might affect business sustainability. Even if business continues, adjustments may still be necessary here and there, which could impact the company’s long-term plans as well.
Meanwhile, for government agencies, it is quite clear that there will be changes in the leadership ranks that will influence the organisation’s internal and external dynamics. Again, we can only anticipate these changes as an inevitability.
Do Not Be Involved in Polarisation
Communication practitioners within organisations typically hold strategic positions and are close to top leadership. This means they have access to provide direct input to top management. Therefore, they must optimize their role to help the company understand the situation so that they can make the right decisions for the organization’s continuity, both before and after the Election. We must ensure that the company doesn’t get caught up in the political candidate polarization, which might only be temporary.
To perform this strategic role, communication practitioners need to continuously monitor and analyze evolving issues, understand the political landscape, and the policy direction if the candidates are elected. All of this is important for us to identify potential challenges that could affect our company or organization. Furthermore, with sharp analysis, we can also predict opportunities for our company’s future.
Our understanding of evolving issues during the political year can help us become more sensitive to the situation, so we will be more cautious when delivering organizational messages. We must avoid sending messages that create an impression that our company or institution supports a specific candidate, thus exacerbating existing polarization in the society. Additionally, understanding potential challenges and opportunities can help our organisation prepare and mitigate risks so that potential opportunities can be realized.
One crucial aspect is that corporate communication must also ensure that during this political year, our company or institution doesn’t violate the principles of good and transparent governance. Therefore, internal communication regarding organizational governance should be carried out effectively so that all organization members, from top leadership to staff, understand and seriously follow the rules. Missteps can tarnish the organization’s reputation as a whole.
The above-mentioned points demand that we, as communication practitioners, continually strive to develop our capabilities. It is high time for us to pay more attention to what happens behind the scenes that can determine the organization’s direction. To do this, in addition to staying updated on the news, including reading survey results, we can also increase our knowledge and skills through various discussions or learning classes about politics and public policy. However, if due to our busy schedules, we cannot do it ourselves, involving others to help might be a consideration. Most importantly, we need to ensure that our company or organization is aware of and understands the current developments so that they can make the right decisions for the long-term plan.
Verlyana V. Hitipeuw
CEO & Principal Consultant, Kiroyan Partners
This article has been published in PR Indonesia magazine 101th edition issued on August 2023, page 43.
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